Dream Symbols of the Beloved


The Self is our Beloved, the core energy in every psyche that compels us to grow into loveable, empowered, authentic, enlightened beings. Our egos often reject the Self’s guidance but it never gives up on us. In its aspect as Dream Mother it reveals itself in symbols and actions based on six basic attributes: wholeness, centrality, unity, love, pattern, and the life-giving force.

Wholeness: Jung associated this with quaternity, or four-ness, because of the way we and our world are created. There are four directions and four winds. Christianity has four evangelists, a cross has four arms, there are four cardinal virtues, and mandalas — the intricate circular sacred symbols produced by many religions — have four sections. Also, humanity has four basic ways of experiencing life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. So whenever a circular object (a coin, table, bowl, sphere, etc.) or four-ness (four people, four flowers in a vase, four walls, the numeral 4, etc.) appear in a dream, I always consider their implications for my growth into wholeness.

Centrality: The Self is our psyche’s source of energy and the point from which every psycho-spiritual event proceeds. It is often represented by things with centers; for example, the heart (a vital central organ), the circle with a dot in the center (the central hole in the Chinese jade disk opens to heaven), and ancient symbols for the center of the world, including a cosmic tree (Jung saw the vertically growing form of a palm tree as a symbol of the soul) or sacred mountain.

Unity: Since the Self’s creative energy is constantly being renewed by the ongoing tension between our masculine and feminine drives, it is often symbolized by the balanced union of opposites — i.e. pairs of things, a Couple, reciprocal actions, the Divine Androgyne (suggested by having attributes of the opposite gender), twins, crosses, two interlocking circles making a mandorla, the hexagram or double triangle, the yin-yang symbol, weddings and wedding rings, sex, and bridges — and also through images of the unity in multiplicity, i.e. a pearl necklace or mandala.

Love: Deity’s primary characteristic is love. As our god-image, the Self can be represented in dreams via depictions of people engaged in loving actions such as kissing, hugging, forgiving, helping others, gift-giving, or making sacrifices. When our dream egos feel and demonstrate love for others, or when others make us feel loved, we are being shown something about our capacity for love and the Self’s love for us. Of course, the heart is also a symbol of love.

Pattern: Since we think of God as the creator and sustainer of the underlying patterns that support life, the Self is suggested by patterned walkways, lattices, mathematical arrays, music, webs, grids, the Diamond Net of Indra, holograms, intricately patterned mandalas or jewelry, and so on.

Life-Giving Force: All symbols or acts of insemination, creativity, initiation, birth, growth (i.e. growing babies or blooming plants), transformation (the butterfly), or movement and change (a snake shedding its skin, the double-stranded DNA spiral, spinning wheels), refer to the miracle of our life and the forces that sustain it.

More next time.  Meanwhile, pay attention to your dreams tonight. You might just have one that features the Self. If you do, I hope you’ll let me know!

Jean Raffa’s “The Bridge to Wholeness” and “Dream Theatres of the Soul” are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at KoboBarnes And Noble and Smashwords. “Healing the Sacred Divide” can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc.

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0 Responses

  1. Thanks for this lovely post Jeanie! I always get excited when I see some of those symbols appearing in some way. Once I woke at 4.44 am to record a dream. A few times recently I’ve had dreams one after the other in which gifts were given to me, which I didnt open. The third time this happened in my dreams I took notice..
    Enjoy the Smoky mountains and the grandchildren – we’re down at the sea for a brief vacation. We escaped the gale force winds and icy weather that was experienced last week; and for a brief spell the days are warm and sunny, icy cold at night.

  2. Thank you, Susan. I get excited at these symbols too. The more I notice these and other symbols in dreams, the more I notice them in waking life, to the point that I can see meaning in practically everything, waking or sleeping. As you know, this imaginative way of seeing is enormously enriching and a humbling and reaffirming reminder of the Mystery of life.
    Talk about reminders of the Mystery, few things are as humbling as the powerful elemental and life-giving forces of the ocean in winter! Enjoy!

    1. Susan, I’ve stumbled upon a special synchronicity involving this morning’s conversation. I just checked my blot stats and discovered this is my 444th post! How lovely. Thank you for being in my life. J

    1. Thank you for this recommendation, Richard. It seems to me you might have recommended it to me before…..and I might have ordered it…..and it might be stacked up with the 100 or so other books I’ve ordered and haven’t had a chance to read yet…..at home in Orlando……while I’m here in North Carolina with a stack of about 20 books I haven’t read yet. 🙂 If I’m right and this is the second mention of this book, then I think that’s a sign I definitely need to read it! I’ll make it a point to do so just as soon as I get back! I love having friends who recommend books to me. I’m never disappointed when I take them up on their suggestions! Thanks for writing.

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